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Quarterfinal #4: Naperville Central 20 Homewood-Flossmoor 6

By Aaron Brown

 

LINCOLNSHIRE, IL - Naperville Central set the tone for their 20-6 win over Homewood-Flossmoor on Thursday night on the opening play of the game. After senior Mark Menis won the swimoff, the Redhawks moved the ball around the perimeter until Kyle Rickert passed from the right corner to Kristian Altuve, who was open on the right side of the goal to catch and score within the first twenty seconds of the contest. While it took until early in the second half for Central to take complete control of their game with the Vikings, the Redhawks showed that they are ready to challenge for a state championship this weekend.

 

Shay Banton tied the score at 1-1 moments after the Altuve goal, but that was as close as H-F would get in this difficult encounter with a team they lost to earlier in the year 17-9. Menis, Ryan Stanley, Tom Shamburek, and Jay Howenstine would rattle off the next four goals for Central, as they claimed a 5-1 lead with two minutes left in the opening frame. Banton scored his second goal of the contest to get H-F to within three scores, but Rickert and Altuve both scored before the end of the quarter to make the score 7-2.

 

The teams stayed relatively even in the second quarter, Rickert and Menis sandwiched goals around the third score of the game by Banton, then Altuve assisted Shamburk on his second goal of the fixture to make the score 10-3. Banton scored his fourth goal in the final minute of the half to cut the Redhawks advantage to 10-4, but that was as close as NC would allow the game to get the rest of the way.

 

In fact, the Vikings had a hard time dealing with the defensive pressure of the Redhawks in the third period, resulting in a third quarter run that saw Central record eight straight goals to effectively put the game away. Menis scored 5 times, Rickert and Stanley each scored 4 goals, and Altuve totaled 3 scores in the win for the Redhawks. Banton tallied 5 goals in the losing cause for H-F.

 

Naperville Central will meet with Mundelein on Saturday, as the Mustangs held off Loyola 14-12 on Thursday night.

 

 

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